Blackberry Smoke twines Southern rock with country

Charlie Starr possesses one of those voices that’s both Sunday-morning-mellow and so ripe with emotion it threatens to burst like an overinflated balloon.

Starr’s vocals power Atlanta’s Blackberry Smoke, whose Southern rock floats by like tendrils of their namesake.

Their latest record, “The Whippoorwill,” debuted in the top 15 of the country, rock and independent album charts, which underscores the across-the-board appeal of songs about icing down coolers and heating up bedrooms.

Like fellow Georgia natives the Zac Brown Band, whose label Blackberry Smoke is signed to, the band summons buttery, sun-baked grooves with a honky tonk chaser, name-checking outlaw country singer Ray Wylie Hubbard in their most popular song “Good One Comin’ On.”

That tune is about partying ’til dawn, the kind of activity that this bunch was born to soundtrack.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.

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